Sikhs at Darbar-E-Khalsa pledge to reduce Plastic Use
- Sdni Amreen Kaur

To leave a better world for the next generation, the Sikhs at Darbar-E-Khalsa vowed to reduce the usage of Plastic bottles. In today’s world, reducing plastic waste and the impact of Fossil Fuel on the Environment is well documented. The teachings of the wonderful Gurus guide us to keep the planet clean and green as well.

Every year at Fairplex Pomona on December 25th, the IIGS (International Institute of Gurmat Studies) organizes Darbar-e-Khalsa, a community event that celebrates the birthday of their beloved tenth wonderful Guru Sahib, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. At this event free food and water stalls are set up for thousands of people in attendance to enjoy every year. As a result, thousands of water bottles and other plastic products are used.

Going to this event for the past ten years, I have observed despite the good intentions of the organizers to feed everyone, plastic waste is inevitable unless something is done. With that in mind, I approached the organizers who loved the idea and we planned to implement a simple solution that would reduce the plastic usage at Darbar-E-Khalsa.

It was decided to replace individual water bottles with 5 gallons of water bottles with dispensers and paper cups. We still had some plastic bottles used however net result was that we reduced the usage of water bottles by over 7,000 by implementing this minor solution.

We did not spend extra money for this project because of sponsors that pay for these items. This project actually saved money as we did not pay CRV (California Refund Value) for the plastic bottles and also water was cheaper with using 5 gallon water bottles which were returnable.

We will continue this project next year and also plan to replace other Styrofoam disposable items with paper alternatives which are biodegradable.

Since last year when this initiative was launched, we have noticed some Gurdwaras have also taken a lead in reducing not only the plastic waste but even the paper plates usage by switching to washable steel dishes as used in Gurdwaras in India. We are hopeful that other Gurdwaras, schools and non-Sikh communities will be inspired and see for themselves what an impact they can make in reducing the plastic waste and leaving a better world for our next generations.

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